She is humble and a Fly Girl
She has a heart for her community and a passion for the younger generations. She doesn’t mind helping out wherever she needs to. If there is an issue at hand, she will not sit down and look. No, she is willing to join the fight and help bring change. This is why Mari Swayne is our Fly girl of the month.
Mariatu Abdullah Swayne was born in the month of October during the 70's. She grew up on the Westside of Indianapolis, Indiana in the neighborhood known as Haughville. Swayne attended Indiana Public Schools until third grade. She would complete her education in Wayne Township and graduate from Ben Davis High School. Swayne was raised in a single parent home with her mother. “My parents met at Lincoln University, in Jefferson City, Missouri”, said Swayne when asked about her parents. My parents divorced soon after I was born, which left my mom to raise me by herself. I grew up as an only child with my mom but on my father’s side, I am actually the oldest of four. My father is actually African, he is from Sierra Leone a country in West Africa and that is where Abdullah comes from. My mother is a phenomenal woman, she taught in IPS for 35 years. She made me do every activity and event I didn’t want to do. She made me learn how to be comfortable being uncomfortable. That has helped me as I gone along with my career in the community. I am not afraid to talk to different people but I wasn’t always that way. Growing up I was very shy and an introvert as a child".
Education has always been a major factor for Swayne. two-time degree alumni of Indiana State. Mari Swayne earned her Bachelor of Science degree in business education and her Master of Science degree in student affairs and higher education. Swayne worked with college students for 3 years at Miami of Ohio which is the public Ivy League school in Oxford, Ohio. From Ohio, she made her way back to Indianapolis where she would work for seventeen years in the MSD of Pike Township as a teacher, dean of students, assistant principal, and Career and Technical Education Director.”When I lived in Ohio I started getting homesick and I had gotten tired of living in a fishbowl so I wanted to come back home to Indianapolis”, stated Swayne.
"We called ourselves the dream team".
“I applied for a job and Larry Mccloud was the Human Resource director for Pike at the time, who called to tell me he would love for me to come work at Pike. I did my interview and was hired”. Swayne would teach 8 years as a busi